To the Editor:
Currently the Ohio EPA is being required to provide a TMDL plan to protect Lake Erie from recurrent algal blooms.
The Ohio EPA plan is fatally flawed, because it pretends that the state of Ohio has no Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations that are causing water pollution with millions of gallons of untreated liquid and solid animal sewage ending up in our water.
In a press release from from Lake Erie Advocates on Nov. 22 titled “U.S. EPA: OHio factory farm permits are illegal,” the following was stated:
After 18 years of citizen complaints, appeals and lawsuits, a rural Wood County couple has finally won their fight to prove Ohio’s system of permitting factory “farms” is unlawful and they are hopeful the decision will put a stop to the escalating number of CAFOs, recognized as hazardous to Lake Erie because of the amount of their manure applied untreated on fields.
Vickie and Larry Askins, Cygnet, received the news Nov. 15 in a letter sent by the U.S. EPA Region 5 Administrator to the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, stating there “is no reasonable expectation” that the state’s transfer of authority over CAFO permits from the Ohio EPA to the ODA, ongoing for the last two decades, will come into compliance with federal regulations.
So, Ohio EPA is writing a verbose plan that completely ignores the pollution caused by an uncounted tens of thousands of factory farm animals creating liquid and solid wastes ending up in our water.
The Clean Water Act, Section 502 General Definitions state: The term “point source” means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include agricultural stormwater discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture.
A CAFO, is a “point source” and like any city with its thousands of humans, by federal law needs to be treated the same. Every CAFO should be required to have a sewage treatment plant to protect the environment and the water of the state of Ohio from liquid and solid animal water pollution.
David J. Neuendorff